Neil Warnock’s Queen’s Park Rangers played out a 1-1 draw with West Brom this afternoon. Warnock will be unhappy to have dropped points after Shane Long’s late goal cancelled out Heidar Helguson’s opener. Nevertheless, Rangers will be pleased with their performance, while it appears that Roy Hodgson has stabilised West Brom
QPR started the first half confidently, passing the ball around easily, but West Brom showed a glimpse of their threat early on as Shane Long and Morrison were allowed to unleash a few shots within the first 10 minutes.
However, it was QPR who asserted their dominance as the half wore on and with clinical precision they took the lead on 19 minutes as Heidar Helguson scored a header at the far post from Joey Barton’s intelligent pass, taking his goal tally to an impressive six in the last seven games.
It could have been 2-0 just 4 minutes later but Shaun Wright-Phillips’ wonderful goal was ruled out by a dubious offside decision.
The Baggies attempted in vain to get back into the game and had a dangerous passage of play on the half hour but Chris Brunt, who has a record of scoring at Loftus Road, had his shot blocked.
West Brom’s urgency was characterised by the industrious harrying of Shane Long, whose frustration eventually resulted in a yellow card for the Irish man.
Despite the danger posed by the Baggies, QPR battled hard to defend and continued their search for a second goal with a number of counter attacks.
West Brom started the second half with the same positive attacking attitude and Thomas tested Cerny immediately after the re-start.
Minutes later, Morrison surged into the box and went down hoping for a penalty but the referee dismissed his claims as Gabbidon was adjudged not to have touched Morrison.
QPR answered the Baggies’ forays on 48 minutes as Helguson found Barton in acres of space on the edge of the box. However the fiery midfielder wasted what really should have been a goal.
McAuley then had a tremendous opportunity to level the game on 55 minutes, but his header soared agonizingly wide.
As the second half wore on, QPR began to drop deeper in order to preserve their lead and to deal with the West Brom onslaught.
QPR managed to dominate possession and had several chances of their own but the decision to drop deeper proved to be fruitless when Shane Long scored his 5th goal for WBA this season as he tapped in a deflected Odemwingie cross on 81 minutes.
Overall QPR had the better chances, but had to settle for a point as WBA’s persistence paid off. QPR are currently 5/2 on Betfair to finish in the top ten in the Premier League and after today’s performance it looks increasingly possible.
QPR: Cerny, Gabbidon, Traore, Young, Ferdinand, Faurlin, Mackie, Barton,Wright-Phillips, Bothroyd (Buzsaky 73), Helguson
Subs: Putnins, Orr, Hill, Derry, Taarabt, Buzsaky, Smith
West Brom: Foster, Olsson, Reid, Shorey, McAuley, Morrison (Tchoyi 77), Brunt, Thomas (Odemwingie 64), Dorrans, Mulumbu (Scharner 83), Long
Subs: Fulop, Dawson, Jones, Tchoyi, Scharner, Odemwingie, Cox